Friday, December 27, 2019

Machiavelli Would Be Proud of Gambling Politics!

When was the last time you saw a Casino or lottery ad saying, "We have enormous operating expenses, including advertising, high CEO pay, lobbying & much more, and we still make an enormous profit! There's no way we could do that if we didn't rig the odds in our favor!"

Do you remember that ad?

Me neither.

How about the ad that said, "We make an enormous profit by targeting compulsive gamblers, even if we pretend not to; this leads to higher rates of poverty, homelessness, crime and even murder; however, since we spend an enormous amount of money buying ads from commercial media they're getting a cut of the loot, so they have an incentive not to report on the best research; and we also donate an enormous amount of money to political campaigns, so politicians have an incentive to promote gambling and look the other way at the social problems it causes!"

Do you remember that ad?

Na, I don't remember that one either.

There's an astronomical amount of research available about the negative impact of gambling, how it increases poverty crime and many more social problems; and there's plenty more research showing that these social problems feed on each other make them worse; but it's almost completely absent from traditional media where the vast majority of the public still get their news.

Since the media get a cut out of the loot, they have an incentive to bury the best research exposing this fraud and avoiding explaining basic fundamentals that expose organized gambling form the fraud that it is!

Niccolò Machiavelli would agree that this is an effective way to keep people poor, and since it also leads to increased violence it enables the media to pray on people emotions, often as part of a divide and rule tactic.

The vast majority of media on the gambling industry is almost certainly the ads or daily reporting of the lottery as entertainment making it seem like a way of life without reporting on enormous social problems causes by it, especially on television which is probably where most gambling addicts get their news. News papers are more likely to cover some of the negative impacts of gambling but even they minimize coverage of how it increases poverty often focusing on how it impacts the economy or creates jobs, often distorting the truth, by reporting on the income that it brings in without reporting on the social problems that it cause.

This includes the following article which provides a few subtle hints about how gambling is rigged but it distorts the truth making it seem less damaging than it is:

Latest casino numbers show tough month 12/17/2019

Plainridge Park Casino in Plainville brought in less revenue in November than it has in any full month since its June 2015 opening, and November was the second-worst revenue month on record for MGM Springfield, which opened in August 2018. Encore Boston Harbor, which opened June 2019, also had its second-worst revenue showing last month.

Encore reported $47.3 million in gross gaming revenue last month, $22.78 million from slot machines and another $24.52 from table games. Only October saw the Everett casino count less in monthly revenue, when it collected $45.8 million. Of the $286.9 million deposited into Encore’s slot machines last month, 92.06 percent was returned to players.

At MGM Springfield, casino operators counted $19.94 million in gross gaming revenue last month, beating only January 2019’s $19.7 million in terms of monthly revenue. Whereas Encore’s revenue is split somewhat evenly between table games and slots, a greater share of MGM’s revenue comes from slot machines. The casino took in $14.73 million — or about 74 percent of its monthly total — in slot revenue. The MGM slots paid out 91.88 percent of the $181.36 million that players deposited in November.

...... The slots in Plainville were the most generous in the state last month, paying out 92.33 percent of the $143 million wagered. Complete article

Returning about 91%-92% of their revenue to players is actually much better than most forms of gambling, but it's still rigged against the consumers, since they would have to average 100% in order to break even, and slot machines don't put out the rally big jackpots that people are hoping for to be set for life, or at least it may seem to be good odds; however when you consider how gamblers play this is misleading. It seem to assume that they bet a limited amount almost getting their money's worth, but I doubt very much if that's the case, otherwise casinos wouldn't be so profitable.

I remember the first time I got a scratch ticket, or was it the last; it was before the Boston Globe Spotlight did an expose on the lottery in the 1990s and they were still giving out free coupons for scratch tickets in the Value pack in the mail every week. I took the coupon and got a scratch ticket which turned out to be a two dollar winner.

The ticket said I could cash it where ever it's sold so I turned around and went right back in the store and handed it to the cashier, who half turned around then hesitated and stared at me for a few seconds with a funny look on her face; when I said nothing she asked "do you want cash," or something like that.

It didn't sink in at first but her stunned reaction was almost certainly because few if any of her other lottery customers ever cash in a 2$ winner and just take the money; the vast majority of them almost certainly just turn it around and buy two more tickets, At that time it was still only a dollar a ticket; since then they started selling two, five and ten dollar tickets that might seem to pay out more, when they win.

Within a year or two after I played that one scratch ticket which is the only one I ever played, since I knew it was rigged long before that the Boston Globe did a spotlight series exposing how insiders were rigging the lottery skimming the winnings so those not involved in the skim were getting even worse odds than average. This series showed how some insiders were watching to see if the winning tickets were being returned and if they weren't they would buy up the tickets at the end when they knew they were more likely to win, because they knew that there were a fixed volume of winners.

That spotlight report also exposed several other scams showing that it was rigged against the average player even worse than it should have been. I was unable to find an online copy of that but while searching for it I found another one from the same paper A game with a windfall for a knowing few, 07/31/2011 which implies that even after they were exposed at one scam and they reformed their image they waited a few years and enabled more scams. It's reasonable to assume that after this was exposed they just repeated the process; the entire industry is a magnet for fraud!

Robert De Niro as Sam "Ace" Rothstein provided a much more accurate description of how the gambling industry works than the media ever does when he said:

Casino transcript

We're the only winners. The players don't stand a chance. And their cash flows from the tables to our boxes ...through the cage and into the most sacred room in the casino ...the place where they add up all the money ...the holy of holies ...the count room.


This is the end result of all the bright lights and the comped trips, of all the champagne and free hotel suites, and all the broads and all the booze. It's all been arranged just for us to get your money. That's the truth about Las Vegas


It's a whale like K. K. Ichikawa, who plays thirty thousand dollars a hand in baccarat. That's the one you really gotta watch.

He plays fast and big and he has the cash and the credit to turn out your lights. About a year ago, he cleaned out a couple of casinos in the Cayman Islands.

Downstairs, he takes us for two million... and upstairs he takes free soap, shampoo and towels. Another billionaire cheapskate who loves his free rooms...


But we got him back. I had our pilot tell him the plane was on the fritz.

But I knew, the trick with whales like Ichikawa was that they can't bet small for long. He didn't think of it as winning ten thousand, he thought of it as losing ninety thousand.


...until he dropped his winnings back and gave up a million of his own cash.


...and keep them coming back. The longer they play, the more they lose. In the end, we get it all. Complete article

The article from the Boston Globe might give readers the impression that the average player gets about 92 cents on the dollar but that doesn't take into consideration the way the average player plays at all. If they play a few dozen games at the slots every time they hit the jack pot winning a significant portion of their money back they just keep playing, until they lose it all like "Ace Rothstein" says. Then if a gambler puts in $100 gets $92 back and puts it in again they count this as $192 worth of bets without considering that they turned it over; only this is repeated over and over again so they might count it as five or six hundred dollars in bets returning 92% of it to the player; but in reality the player keeps putting it back and only goes home with a few dollars if anything, so the actual return to players, in many cases is often less than 10% or 20% and in some cases 0% as Ace says!

A look at a few compulsive gamblers including the following one that went on a rampage shows this:

Gambling is an industry that feasts on the poor and vulnerable 09/05/2017

As the betting addict who went on a rampage in Liverpool pointed out, bar staff don’t pour pints for people who have had too many. Why can’t the government rein in the bookies’ relentless growth?

It is not often that I feel sorry for a vandal, let alone a violent one armed with a hammer, but when Eric Baptista went on a rampage in Liverpool recently he had my sympathies. A problem gambler, he says he had begged to be barred from all of his local bookies, but that they refused to stop serving him. He was too good a customer, regularly losing £400 in a matter of minutes on the fixed-odds machines.

In May, Baptista took drastic action. If the wretched betting shops wouldn’t stop taking his business, he would put them out of business, he reasoned. He had lost yet another £100 in the William Hill on Aigburth Road when a circuit in his brain tripped. He went next door to buy two tins of black paint and set about smearing it over everything he could see. He didn’t stop there, visiting six other branches over a three-week period, causing £36,000 of damage by smashing up betting terminals, TV screens and gambling machines.

Last month, he pleaded guilty to criminal damage and was given a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid community work. Liverpool crown court heard that during one of his rampages he shouted: “This is a protest. I am sorry; there is no safety net for customers.”

Horrible as it must have been for the staff he terrorised, they should have been allowed to stop serving him. As Baptista later argued, when he was a barman, he wouldn’t pour pints for people who had had too many; why, when the bookies knew he was an addict, did they allow him to keep feeding the machines?

They allowed him because gambling is an industry that feasts on the poor and vulnerable to survive. Last week, 888, one of Britain’s biggest online gambling firms, was fined £7.8m after allowing more than 7,000 people who had chosen to exclude themselves from its casino/poker/sport platform to access their accounts and continue gambling. Also last week, a Guardian investigation found that betting firms were using third-party companies to harvest personal data, helping bookmakers and online casinos target people on low incomes and those who have stopped gambling. Complete article

Even though I wouldn't recommend this tactic of challenging the gambling industry, compared to many other problem gamblers his actions are semi-admirable, some people might even say heroic. At least he only carried out property damage, although he may have scared people while doing so.

After the Las Vegas Mandalay Bay mass shooting I looked into other violence at Casinos, as reported in Las Vegas Massacre Is Just A Minuscule Fraction Of Gambling Crime and found that there were much more than the media was reporting on and that this is an enormous problem. I didn't look quite as thoroughly this time but did another relatively quick search and quickly turned up a couple dozen more murders at Casinos since then. If I conduct more thorough searches for specific casinos, I have no doubt that given enough time that many more will turn out, since I've done this before.

However almost all of these are are reported as isolated incidents at the local level, when mainstream media does report on more than one or two incidents, it's usually not much more. The same goes for problem gamblers that try to get help being banned from casinos; ironically in many cases they agree to ban them and prevent them from collecting winnings as a deterrent, but don't enforce the ban until problem gamblers win. This means when problem gamblers can't stop themselves they can rake in the money; but when they win large jackpots that trigger requirements that they deposit some into a tax withholding account then they check it and refuse to pay him anything like the following example:

Foxwoods didn’t stop gambling addict who asked to be banned — until he won 01/29/2017

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — On the edge of a vast casino, David Schreiber played video poker at a frenetic pace — fast enough to place almost 50 bets a minute. Beat, pause, beat-beat, pause. Over and over again.

An admitted compulsive gambler, Schreiber was not supposed to be here on the gambling floor at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Three years ago, distraught over his gambling losses, he asked the Indian-owned casino to ban him for life, a desperate step he hoped would save him from himself.

Foxwoods, like most casinos, keeps a “voluntary self-exclusion” list of compulsive gamblers who sign an agreement that they would be denied entry or ejected from the premises, and denied rights to winnings. Casinos, responding to critics, point to the program as evidence that they are responsible institutions.

But in Schreiber’s case, at least, neither part of the equation has worked: He keeps gambling and, he says, Foxwoods does not stop him.

“I’ve been back to Foxwoods a hundred times since I got on the list,” Schreiber, 59, of Danielson, Conn., said after a betting session on the Game King poker machine. “They don’t enforce it. It’s a joke.”

Schreiber said he has been detected only once, when he won a $1,250 jackpot, large enough to trigger the requirement that he deposit a portion of his winnings into a tax withholding account. As it turned out, he didn’t get to keep a cent, he said.

“They took me to an office and wouldn’t let me keep the money,” he said. “After that, they said they were going to keep a real close eye on me. But they didn’t.” ..... In a statement, casino officials said, “We’ve supported responsible gaming at Foxwoods from day one,” such as funding prevention programs for problem and underage gambling.

“To further help out those who opt for exclusion, we take additional cautionary measures such as freezing their rewards accounts, which eliminates the ability for them to accumulate points or access complimentary offerings, and removing them from our marketing list so they no longer receive gaming offers and announcements,” officials said. “We also flag them in our systems so that we can intervene if they attempt to collect jackpot winnings.” .......

But those who work with compulsive gamblers say exclusion agreements, while well-intentioned, are largely symbolic gestures that offer little deterrence. .......

Among advocates for problem gamblers, there is also “considerable skepticism” that casinos are especially motivated to enforce the bans. “Casinos enforce it only when they’re about to lose money,” said Whyte. “It’s ripe for abuse.” .......

“It’s a sham,” Les Bernal, national director of Stop Predatory Gambling, which opposes government-sanctioned gambling. “It’s public relations, at best. The casinos say they are taking steps to protect consumers, but they get their profits from problem gamblers every day.” Complete article

In that particular case the Casino was supposed to turn the winnings over to the state, so instead of giving them to the Casino for profit; they supposedly help raise revenue for the state. This may seem like a deterrent to the Casinos to enforce it; however they still kept all his losses for previous gambling trips, which were almost certainly even higher than this jackpot, especially since he even kept on gambling after being refused his winnings. The fact that even then he keeps on gambling shows how compulsive gambling addictions can be for some people; however, since the state is collecting revenue off his addiction, and they're constantly trying to find ways to shift the tax burden away from wealthy campaign donors this gives the state an incentive to do little or nothing, which is what they do; and since the media doesn't adequately report it most people aren't aware how extensive the problem is.

In Indiana there was another similar incident and U.S. courts say casinos have no 'duty of care' responsibility to halt compulsive gamblers from playing 05/05/2011 Another judge in Massachusetts indicated that he was sympathetic to an argument that, since the Casinos spent millions of dollars on their licencing fees that they were entitled to them and that they couldn't have them taken away as a result of a 2014 ballot initiative, however in the end Supreme Judicial Court rules anti-casino petition can go to voters (updated) 06/24/2014 Te Casino industry responded to this set back by spending another 1.79 million, which was almost four times their opponents on advertising or other forms of lobbying against the initiative according to Big Business Is Spending Like Crazy on the Ballot Questions. Does It Matter? 09/29/2014

Where do you think the millions of dollars they spent on their licences and more for the advertising campaign came from? The investors, of course, but they wouldn't have put so much money into this unless they thought they could get a profit off of it; and as usual, if they succeed that profit has to come from the players, and without the problem gamblers it's virtually guaranteed that they won't get their money back so the entire system is stacked against them.

Contrary to the most common claim neither lotteries, Casinos or other forms of gambling are increasing revenue for states that are addicted to them even without fully considering the negative social impacts as the following article shows:

The State Gambling Addiction: Politicians are bleeding problem gamblers to fix their budgets—and it isn’t working. Steven Malanga Summer 2012

In January, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced a bold plan to bring a $4 billion casino and conference center to Queens. But the plan fell apart within months, thanks to the reluctance of the state’s prospective partner, the Malaysian gambling company Genting, to undertake the massive investment without a guarantee that it would have the exclusive right to operate casinos in New York City.

New York is one of several states that don’t want to be left behind as their neighbors institute more and more varieties of gambling. At least 12 states, facing downturn-depleted coffers, have already expanded gambling efforts over the last three years—including Massachusetts, which became the 16th state to sanction casinos. But this approach is utterly misguided, since gambling has often disappointed as a fiscal tool and as an economic-development strategy. As legal gambling has spread, competition for limited dollars has intensified, and the new gambling enterprises seem merely to be siphoning money from elsewhere in the economy instead of generating new economic activity. “This is not an industry that creates wealth,” says Les Bernal, head of the Stop Predatory Gambling Foundation. “It’s an industry that transfers wealth.” And that’s before taking into account the documented social costs, including the disturbing fact that a significant part of gambling revenues comes from problem gamblers.

Gambling has been part of the American experience since the Founding. In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, privately run lotteries, authorized by states, helped raise funds for everything from religious institutions to colleges. Harvard and Yale, for example, financed some new construction with lotteries. But as the practice grew more popular, fraud and other abuses increased, leading to a backlash. From the 1830s on, states began banning lotteries. The last state-sanctioned one ended in 1894, and the following year, Congress prohibited the interstate promotion of lotteries, making it tough to launch new ones. .......

Gambling hasn’t lived up to its promise of closing budget gaps. Stateline, a service of the Pew Center on the States, examined ten states that had legalized or expanded gambling over the past decade and found that, in most cases, revenue fell well short of initial projections, despite the usual claim that gambling is recession-proof. Oklahoma officials, for example, predicted that their lottery, launched in 2005, would raise $150 million in yearly revenue; five years later, the take was only $70 million. Also in 2005, Maine approved “racinos,” racetracks with electronic gambling machines, predicting that they would shower the state with $32 million a year; they have yet to hit that number. More recently, Arkansas claimed that its new lottery would generate $100 million annually for state-sponsored college scholarships; the take last year was $89 million.

The shortfalls are greater in the states that adopted gambling earlier, since those states have lost their lucrative monopolies. Take the New Jersey government, whose haul from Atlantic City casinos peaked at $477 million in 2006, the year before the first casino opened in neighboring Pennsylvania, and shrank to $327 million in 2010. Other places face similar threats if their neighbors get into the game. A study commissioned by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, for instance, warned that gambling’s benefits to the state outweighed its costs largely because Texans crossed the border to gamble. If Texas were to legalize casinos, the study concluded, Louisiana’s industry would suffer.

The legalization of new forms of gambling has helped destroy older ones. Pari-mutuel betting at state-sanctioned racetracks, once the most common form of gambling, now raises just $150 million in annual state revenue. In New Jersey, casinos have killed it off. When Jersey first legalized casino gambling, racetracks were home to 80 percent of legal betting in the state; today, they account for only 2 percent. Average daily attendance at the state’s Meadowlands Racetrack—the revenues from which helped build Giants Stadium, since demolished—is down to 2,800, from 16,500 in the mid-seventies. The New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, which built and ran the track, is insolvent.

Over the long term, gambling revenue has failed to hold down taxes, despite supporters’ predictions. New Jersey was the first state to legalize both casinos and the lottery. When its first casino opened in 1978, the state was the fifth most heavily taxed in America, according to the Tax Foundation. Now, despite garnering more revenue from gambling than all but four states, its tax burden is the nation’s second heaviest. New York, which brings in the most money from gambling, is also the nation’s most heavily taxed state. Louisiana’s state lottery started in 1991, followed in 1993 by privately owned video poker and casinos. Since 1994, the state’s average per-capita tax burden has increased from $2,080 (in today’s dollars) to more than $3,000. “Initially, when gambling came in, it was highly misrepresented at the time as an answer to all our fiscal problems. History has simply proven that not to be true,” Louisiana state senator A. G. Crowe told the press in 2008. .......

Indiana legalized gambling in 1993, and several years later, casinos opened in the impoverished city of Gary. The city’s mayor testified before members of the National Gambling Impact Study Commission that revenues from gambling were helping revive the city. Over the long term, though, casinos brought no appreciable benefit to Gary’s economy. In 1990, the census shows, family income in Gary was $38,158 in today’s dollars; it now averages $33,158—about 13 percent lower than before the casinos arrived. The city’s poverty rate remains unchanged. Atlantic City and Gary don’t seem unusual in this respect. As part of the congressional commission’s 1999 study, the National Opinion Research Center surveyed communities with legal gambling. It concluded that gambling produced no boost “in overall per capita income,” as increases in certain industries were offset by declines in others.

No effort to assess the impact of legal gambling can ignore its social costs. The Tax Foundation argues that state lotteries represent one of the steepest of all taxes, since the government keeps an average of 42 percent of betting proceeds—far higher than the sales-tax rate that states would charge if the wagered money were spent on something else. The lottery tax is also hidden, since few people recognize it as a government levy. And the burden of this hidden tax is not equally distributed. Numerous studies have shown that lotteries tend to attract lower-income, less educated players, cutting significantly into personal income and private-sector spending in poorer neighborhoods. One recent study found that households with less than $12,000 per year in annual income spend 5 percent of it on the lottery. In part, lower-income households spend so much because they buy the aggressive advertising of state lotteries, which claims that participating in them will bring you riches. A poll several years ago found that 38 percent of those earning less than $25,000 annually considered buying lottery tickets a good retirement strategy.

Another social cost is crime, which appears to rise after casinos open. The most comprehensive study of crime and legal gambling, conducted by economists Earl Grinols and David Mustard and published in The Review of Economic Statistics in 2006, examined 167 counties where casinos had opened over the 20-year period ending in 1996. In those counties, the authors estimated, 5.5 percent to 30 percent of serious crimes in six categories were attributable to gambling. The casino counties suffered 157 more aggravated assaults per 100,000 residents than non-casino counties did, for example. Of the seven kinds of crime studied, only one, murder, didn’t spike. Making the point that social costs are economic costs as well, the study estimated that by 1996, the extra crime was costing the casino communities $1.8 billion (in today’s dollars) per year.

Some of the increase in lawbreaking can be attributed to problem gamblers who grow desperate and turn to crime to pay for their addiction. The National Research Council estimated in the 1999 congressional gambling study that 1.5 percent of adults were “pathological” gamblers and that another 3.9 percent were “problem” gamblers. (The difference lies in how many of the ten criteria for problem gambling someone displays.) The commission also referred to Harvard Medical School research concluding that as many as 7.9 million adolescents were potentially pathological or problem gamblers.

Perhaps the most unsettling statistic associated with legal gambling—obscured by media clichĂ©s about how “nearly everyone” gambles occasionally in America—is the inordinately large share of gambling revenue that comes from problem gamblers. A 1998 study commissioned by Montana’s state gambling commission estimated that problem gamblers accounted for 36 percent of revenue from electronic gambling devices and 18 percent of lottery scratch-ticket sales. A 1999 study by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board determined that problem gamblers accounted for 30 percent of spending on riverboat casinos, 42 percent of spending at Indian casinos, and 27 percent of betting on video lottery terminals and other electronic games. A 2004 report in Ontario, Canada, found that problem gamblers, though constituting about 4.8 percent of the province’s population, produced 35 percent of its gambling revenue from lotteries, sports betting, bingo, gambling machines, and casinos. The report’s authors pointed out that their findings contributed to “converging lines of evidence indicating that a substantial portion of gaming revenue derives from people who are negatively impacted by their involvement in this activity.”

Even instant games aren’t as addictive as the favorite gambling instruments of legal-betting proponents: video slot and poker machines. Around the country, states have introduced these devices at “slot-only” or “convenience” casinos, sometimes at failing racetracks. The machines’ sophisticated technology makes losing feel like winning by feeding players near-winning combinations. This triggers the release of dopamine, the body’s feel-good chemical, in the players’ brains, encouraging them to keep playing—and losing. So addictive are these machines, according to Kevin Horrigan, a video-game designer and computer-science expert at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, that two-thirds of those seeking help for gambling addictions in the province report that their principal gambling activity is using video slots. One Wisconsin lawyer, jailed for gambling away $2.5 million of a client’s money on slot machines, described them at his 2010 sentencing as “the greatest drug there ever was.” The rapid spread of video slot machines has already resulted in at least one staggering social meltdown. From the early 1990s through the end of the decade, after a series of court rulings interpreted a state law that permitted payoffs on pinball machines to include video slot machines, the devices proliferated in South Carolina. By 1996, more than 18,000 machines were in operation around the state, and three years later, the number had doubled, collecting $3.3 billion a year in bets. The social effects were hard to miss, even for those who had initially backed gambling. One study found that the fraction of problem gamblers in the state’s population had increased from 2 percent to 12 percent. Just two years after the final court ruling, bankruptcies had risen 33 percent, and financial fraud, including the passing of bad checks, had jumped by nearly half. Horrifying stories made headlines, including one of a mother who left her ten-month-old baby in her sweltering car, windows closed, while she played video poker at a roadside casino for seven hours; the baby died of dehydration. Revulsion over such stories eventually helped create a broad coalition, ranging from churches to the state’s chamber of commerce, opposing the terminals. In 1999, the state banned them, ending what the Charlotte Observer called a “long messy experiment” with video betting.


So politicians, too, are addicted to gambling. Their addiction will damage many lives—and fail to help state finances. Complete article

This article doesn't fully describe the financial costs of the social problems, even though the human costs should be far more important; but they must be astronomical. Within the past week and a half there was a tipple murder in a Montana Casino, there are probably dozens more every year, the Circus Circus Casino in Reno Nevada had another murder and thirteen months earlier they had a double murder at the same casino, my previous article on the subject showed that Donald Trump's Casinos in Atlantic City had more than his share of murders and this was reported during the 2016 election, although cable news and most network news almost ignored it, so most people may not of heard.

This is just a small problem of crime associated with gambling there have always been plenty of studies showing this was a major problem but the political establishment and media ignore them and only highlight the positive propaganda about it deceiving the public.

Do you think ballot initiatives would pass supporting increasing gambling if the public was fully informed about all the crime and violence that's associated with it? Not likely, but the political and media establishment is doing the work for the gambling industry repeating misleading claims over and over again about how many jobs they're creating, without mentioning the obvious fact that these jobs do nothing productive for society and contribute to an enormous amount of social problems.

Apparently there are also studies showing that problem gamblers are more likely to come from dysfunctional homes with violence in the family, which is a major contributing factor for many other social problems including more violence in the next generation when they learn to repeat the actions of their parents. When you add this to poverty and gambling addiction among other things, it makes it even worse.

Yet the political establishment continues to push increased gambling, presumably as part of their efforts to shift the tax burden away from wealthy campaign donors. Instead of looking out for the best interests of the vast majority of the public; politicians and the media are looking for the most effective scams they can pull over on us and this is one of the their favorites, along with insurance companies which operate on the same basic principles!

Las Vegas Massacre Is Just A Minuscule Fraction Of Gambling Crime

How does gambling and gun control impact violent crime?

The tragedy of gambling politics in United States;

The following are plenty of additional stories on the subject, including a large number of murder, stories about child abuse, other crimes and additional studies:

Great Falls Montana casino murders: what we know 12/18/2019 GREAT FALLS — Three people were killed early Tuesday at the Emerald City Casino on 10th Avenue South in Great Falls. Authorities have not released information about the possible motive for the deaths, such as an attempted robbery or other reasons, and are continuing to investigate.

Pechanga Casino Guest Dies From Injuries Suffered in Assault There, Two Women Charged With Murder, Robbery in Ca. 09/07/2019 One of the suspects is the sister of NBA all-star and Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, who recently signed a massive deal with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Trip to Casino Ended in Murder Caught on Camera: Miami-Dade Police 10/10/2019 Luciano Thompson, 22, was arrested Thursday on a second-degree murder charge in the killing of 24-year-old Eduardo Gonzalez, according to a Miami-Dade Police arrest report

All bets off: Kosovo bans gambling for a decade after casino murders 02/04/2019

Reno Police: Woman stomped to death in vicious murder at Circus Circus Casino 07/31/2019 Same casino had another double murder thirteen months earlier.

Convicted Felon Charged With Circus Circus Murder Headed Towards Trial, Judge Dismisses Police Tampering Claim 07/18/2019 The man charged with murdering two tourists at Circus Circus in June 2018 will see his case continue after a local judge ruled that police didn’t act inappropriately in leading a grand jury to indict him.

Possible Serial Killer Charles Sullivan Suspected in Circus Circus Reno Waitress Abduction, Murder 11/19/2019 Police believe an Arizona man charged in Nevada last Friday with the brutal 1979 murder of Julia Woodward could be a serial killer. He is now the chief suspect in the killing of a cocktail waitress who disappeared from Circus-Circus Reno a year earlier.

KZN cops suspect murder-suicide in Suncoast Beach Casino South Africa murders 11/25/2019

Motor City Casino employee killed in Detroit driveway on way home from work, police say 11/07/2019

Arrest made in 1998 murder of 28-year-old Nguyet 'Anna' Nguyen 10/29/2019 Body not found but suspects were seen on camera visiting at least two casinos

Son nabbed at blackjack table hours after parents found killed in Warren County, authorities say 10/29/2019

Las Vegas Nevada Police shoot, kill suspect in robbery attempt at Laughlin casino 08/19/2019 Another fatal police shooting happened at another Vegas Casino about five months earlier.

The Latest: Las Vegas Nevada Man Killed by Police in Casino Heist ID'd 03/18/2019 Bellagio resort

Man who fatally shot Las Vegas casino executive sentenced 12/21/2019

Revenge seen as motive in fatal shooting outside Las Vegas casino 11/08/2019

A Brawl Between Motorcycle Gangs Turns Fatal at a Nevada Casino 04/28/2002 Three men, all motorcycle gang members, were killed and about a dozen others were injured in a shooting and knifing brawl that broke out in Harrah's casino early this morning among rival bikers attending a huge annual motorcycle rally, the authorities said.

Las Vegas’ Most Notorious Crimes Includes at least a dozen murders & more crimes of other sorts.

Wikipedia: Jeremy Strohmeyer (born October 11, 1978) is a convicted murderer, serving four consecutive life terms for the sexual assault and murder of 7-year-old Sherrice Iverson (October 20, 1989 – May 25, 1997)[1] at Primadonna Resort and Casino in Primm, Nevada, on May 25, 1997. The case drew national attention by focusing on the safety of children in casinos and on the revelation that Strohmeyer's friend, David Cash Jr., said he saw the crime in progress but did not stop it.[2]

Brothers Guilty of Murdering Man for His $7k Casino Winnings 12/27/2019

Woman who plowed motorhome into Las Vegas-area casino charged with attempted murder 10/28/2019

Murdered Harrah's Casino Hotel Guest Stabbed 26 Times in Ill. 03/28/2019

'My baby got killed for nothing;' mother of 2 identified as victim in shooting near Lumiere Casino St. Louis Missouri [Update] 05/28/2019 Homicide detectives were called to a double shooting in downtown St. Louis overnight Sunday.

State police: Glastonbury man claimed self defense in fatal Preston Conn. shooting 10/30/2019 State police said Giannelli shot and killed Robert Thompson, 35, of Preston on Saturday at about 1:20 a.m. Giannelli confessed to the killing, but said it was self defense, according to a probable cause affidavit. At Mohegan Sun Casino

Macau Hong Kong police investigate suspected murder at Sands casino resort: media 02/18/2019

Philly man extradited in brother's alleged murder at Atlantic City casino on May 28 08/19/2019

Murder warrants issued for three Camden men in Atlantic City casino parking garage carjacking and slaying 09/21/2019

Man Accused of Killing 2 in Texas, Arrested in Louisiana Casino 10/10/2019

Casino robbery and shooting at a Louisiana casino results in one death 09/13/2019

Grandma accused of murder gambled at Kinder casino while on the run 04/20/2018

Man Murders His Partner in Melbourne, Goes Gambling After 12/16/2019

My son ended his life because he felt controlled by gambling 08/28/2019

Gary went on a 13-hour gambling binge. He died with nothing left 07/03/2018

Jan. 11, 1981: Mom is out gambling as 11 children die in house fire 01/11/2019

Kids Left in Car While Mom Allegedly Plays the Slots 04/15/2009 Kids and Cars, an advocacy group, found at least 32 such cases between 1994 and 2003. The total number is probably much higher. The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Ky., based on an examination of Indiana Gaming Commission records, found 37 instances of children being left unattended while their caretakers were gambling in 1999 and 2000 alone.

Adult gambling addiction tied to childhood trauma 08/17/2017 Compared with men who rarely if ever placed wagers, the men with a pathological addiction to gambling were more than twice as likely to have witnessed violence at home or to have experienced physical abuse or assault growing up. They were also more than three times as likely to have suffered a serious or life-threatening injury as kids.

Gamblers more likely to have suffered childhood traumas 08/02/2017

They died forgotten: how gambling and alcohol shut the door on twins' lives 09/17/2013

Man receives eight-year sentence for starvation of twin toddlers 09/16/2013

Gambling problems start young

New Jersey Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect Opening Doors Conference “Children of Compulsive Gamblers” Frances L. Gizzi, LCSW, C‐CATODSW, CCGC Jeffrey M. Beck, LPC, CCGC, JD, ABD, CART


• Parental gambling can have significant effect on lives of children children
• Children of compulsive gamblers at increased risk for gambling problems
• Often there are no telltale signs of gambling
• A careful assessment will help determine if gambling is an issue
• There is still a large stigma about gambling; unless asked people will not discuss

The Real History of Martin Scorsese's Casino 12/09/2019

Outburst at Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes is pure Rendell, observers say 01/08/2011

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell Blasts 60 Minutes During Interview on Gambling 01/08/2011 "It's an absolute joke. I was looking forward to this. It would have been a real experience. This is what football is all about. We're becoming a nation of wussies."

How Casinos Target Problem Gamblers 02/28/2012

Don't Bet On It: Casino's Contractual Duty to Stop Compulsive Gamblers from Gambling December 2009 Compulsive gambling' presents a serious threat to the integrity of the casino industry.2 While most patrons frequenting casinos are recreational gamblers, approximately two million of Americans have a serious gambling addiction. 3 This translates into substantial social and economic costs: several studies indicate that over twenty percent of compulsive gamblers quit work or are fired; nearly fifteen percent are hospitalized with health problems related to gambling; almost two thirds planned suicide; a majority had stolen property because of gambling; and each compulsive gambler has an average gambling debt of over sixty thousand dollars. 4


Responsible gambling among older adults: a qualitative exploration 04/04/2017

Losing Everything to Gambling Addiction: More older Americans are problem gamblers, but are they betting against their health, too? AARP Bulletin, January/February 2014

The Casino Trap: As the gambling industry booms, aggressive marketing targets older patrons AARP Bulletin, October 2016

Why Casino-Driven Development Is a Roll of the Dice 03/06/2017

How Casinos Enable Gambling Addicts December issue Modern slot machines develop an unbreakable hold on many players—some of whom wind up losing their jobs, their families, and even, as in the case of Scott Stevens, their lives.

Problem Gambling, Poverty and Homelessness 05/06/2019

Revealed: how gambling industry targets poor people and ex-gamblers 08/31/2017

Friday, December 20, 2019

Must We Hate? Must We Beat Children?

"Must We hate," is of course something people have been asking for decades, especially when they recognize that the reasons for hatred is typically so irrational and senseless and it often does as much damage to those hating as it does to their victims, perhaps depending on who has the more political power. But if the racists do have the political power, as they often have, in Nazi Germany, Apartheid South Africa and the Segregated South then everyone pays the price.

One of the most famous articles about this was by Archibald Macleish who wrote "I had always thought of this hatred as something exceptional, something transient, something which would disappear with the illiteracy and poverty and ignorance out of which it came." Must We Hate? February 1963 This is true, as far as it goes; however I suspect the most important contributing cause or two wasn't recognized by most people at that time, and still isn't today.

There has been a growing amount of research, since then, showing that one of the leading long term causes of violence is almost certainly early child abuse leading to escalating violence later in life including bullying, hazing, racism, domestic violence, even murder and support for wars based on lies! However, even though this is widely known within the academic community little has been done to educate the majority of the public about it.

Perhaps another leading contributing factor is class conflict, since another leading cause of violence is abandoned inner cities, and wealthy people control the resources to deal with this, including providing much more funds for upper class students for education than for lower classes, especially minorities, and also make decisions about shipping jobs overseas so working class people have their wages suppressed, which is a major contributing cause of poverty and violence. And part of the way they get away with this is by blaming immigrants or minorities for stealing peoples jobs using them as scapegoats in a rigged economy.

If we can reduce or stop child abuse, poverty, excessive income inequality and other contributing factors of violence and racism there should be little or no doubt that the answer is, no, we don't have to hate each other, eliminating many wars based on lies and racial struggles within our own country!

I went into some of this in several previous articles including Cause and Effect of Hatred and Dobson’s Indoctrination Machine which explains how early child abuse is part of the indoctrination process that teaches children to blindly obey orders and adopt the beliefs of their parents from an early age without developing critical thinking skills to correct mistakes. Some of the sources I used for past articles include Alice Miller, Philip Greven, Murray Straus, James Garbarino, Barbara Coloroso and more; however none of these good academics get much if any media coverage, and there're are plenty more where they came from. If the media was willing to give a reasonable amount of time to some of the best researchers on this subject then the public would be much better educated on this subject and we could do much more to reduce violence but most of this research only read in the academic world and a small percentage of the public that seeks out the best research from libraries or alternative media.

Some of the lowest rates of violence in the country are in New England, including four states that routinely make it into the bottom ten for murder rates for the past seven or eight years at least, if not much longer, the other two states have occasionally also made it into the bottom ten, and aren't far above when they don't make it. This now includes Massachusetts which has been in the bottom ten for six of the last seven years, (on the seventh year it only missed the bottom ten by less than one tenth of one murder per hundred thousand and came in eleventh) and is the only state, with the possible exception of Minnesota to regularly make it into the bottom ten for murder states that has large abandoned inner cities with well above average murder rates.

One of the academic researchers almost never mentioned by the mainstream media is Charles Appelstein who has worked with troubled kids in foster homes or reform schools and has advised foster parents, teachers, social workers and other people that have worked with troubled youth, to help reform them before it's too late. There's good reason to believe that the tactics that he recommends are different from those used in other parts of the country including the South, for example, he opposes both corporal punishment and boot camp reform programs that use authoritarian methods to teach children to behave, both of which are much more common in the South, which includes the majority of the nineteen states that still allow corporal punishment in schools and as I have pointed out previously in Research On Preventing Violence Absent From National Media these nineteen states had, on average, between 22% and 31% higher murder rates than the other thirty-one states that no longer allow corporal punishment, for the past ten or eleven years.

Charles Appelstein i a leading educator of reformers in New England and they've taken very different tactics from other part of the country, even if the media doesn't report on this. When dealing with troubled youth he advises taking into consideration the abuse that many of them almost certainly went through previously, even is they can't track the experiences of each troubled child. Some of his methods are described in the following except from his book:

Charles Appelstein "No such thing As A Bad Kid" 1998

The Way of Empathy

Would you be terribly upset with a disruptive child if you knew he had been picked on unmercifully at school that day, or denied dinner the night before? Probably not. You would most likely respond empathically to his side of the situation — and rightly so. As important as it is to be in touch with our own emotions, we need to empathize with what is going on for the child and, if only for a moment, walk in his shoes.

I then present the following scenario: "Say that tomorrow morning when you arrive at work, you go directly to the office to watch a video from the worst ten minutes of the child's life. You see him being neglected and abused, and crying out for help. after viewing this tape, how do you think you would respond to the kid as the day unfolds?"

"With a lot more compassion," some will say, or "I don't think I'd be as rough on him," or "I probably wouldn't be able to yell at him." p.17

Suppose you are deciding between two children who are on a waiting list for admission to your group. The first child has lived in four foster homes and has burn marks on his hands, which have been traced to abuses by his father; he is portrayed as a sad and lonely boy who has never had a friend and does not trust adults. the second youngster is described as self-absorbed, manipulative, incapable of following directions, in constant need of attention, and willing to do anything to get it. Which child would you choose? Most people I ask select number one.

In actuality, these description are from two profiles of the same child; only the wording is different. Describe a child's personal history and people want to reach out to him; label his annoying behaviors and people are less willing to help. p.19

When yelling is reduced, children's behavior improves. In one residential program in Massachusetts where the staff significantly reduced their yelling, the use of physical restraints reportedly decreased by more than 50 percent. In other group situations in which yelling has been reduced adults say they are relieved to spend their time listening to the children rather than forcing the children to listen to them. A five-minute time-out, they note, has more impact when it is announced in a calm, supportive tone of voice than when it is ordered in an angry "Sit down for five minutes!" command.

.... How would you feel if you were late handing in a report to your boss and he suddenly spanked you? No adult would tolerate such an gregarious act; it is too demeaning and disrespectful. Imagine, then, what it is like for a child.

Spanking — including swatting, hitting, and tapping — is a maneuver in power and intimidation. Physically, it hurts. Emotionally, it makes a kid angry. The reason we get away with it that the children we spank are small, powerless, and unable to strike us back.

Not only do we save spanking for the young and defenseless but we often fail to see how counterproductive this angry, desperate act usually is. Spanking informs children that physical violence is an appropriate response to frustration. p.24 Charles Appelstein "No such thing As A Bad Kid" 1998 Published by the Gifford School in Weston Massachusetts

Taking into consideration previous abuse when trying to reform troubled children is vital to reform, especially since many boot camp reform programs often escalate previous abuse or intimidation instead of reversing it. there's been an enormous amount of political support for boot camp rehabilitation for decades because it teaches blind obedience; however this is a continuation of abusive child rearing tactics teaching blind obedience under the threat of violence in the form of corporal punishment or other abusive intimidating tactics that impair development of critical thinking skills, leads to blind obedience to authorities or those that are most powerful often other peers, and increased violence.

This teaches kids to blindly go along with the crowd especially if it happens to be a racist crowd.

But, of course what's far more important is preventing children from being abused in the first place and opposition to corporal punishment both at home and in schools is an important part of that; but there has to be some effort to teach at risk parents how counterproductive it is since they were raised to believe it is appropriate. Even though at risk parents were often abused as children they may not have learned how much damage it does, and often resort to the same tactics when raising their own children. I went into this previously in Burying Solutions to Prevent Gilroy, Dayton and El Paso Shootings (Includes excerpt about home-visiting program from "Lost Boys: Why our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them") where I cited Professor James Garbarino's recommendations to educate at risk parents; one of the most effective programs that he recommends is a "home visitor program" for at risk parents which I first heard about in an article in the Boston Globe in the nineties, when it was a relatively new program that was started in Hawaii and Massachusetts was one of the next states to adopt it. At that time the studies from Hawaii showed that it was very effective, since then they've confirmed this repeatedly and the program is now used in almost every state, if not every state, although some may use it more than others.

Apparently the Affordable Care Act expanded funds for this program significantly, which is good since it's far more const effective than ignoring the problem until it gets worse and they have to spend much more money dealing with high court costs for troubled kids. One of the studies James Garbarino cites says that "Babies in a comparison group of 'unvisited' families among an identified high-risk population had four times as much child maltreatment in the first two years of life."

To the best of my knowledge this didn't become a national program in almost every state if not every state until the ACA, and the states that did implement it for years, if not decades, before that have much lower murder rates than average including Massachusetts and Hawaii, as well as Connecticut, although I'm not sure how long they've had it, but a recent study New Evidence Suggests Home Visiting Can Prevent Child Neglect 04/26/2018 show's that it's worked very well and implies that it's not one of the new states that implemented it since the ACA. New Hampshire, which has been at the bottom of the FBI statistics for murder for at least six or seven years, before getting bumped to second last in 2018, also has been implementing it for years, but one local advocate is arguing for more, justifiably so, base don the evidence.

Both these articles and many more studies all agree that this is a very successful program that is helping reduce child abuse and neglect; and there are many other studies that show that child abuse and neglect are major contributing causes to longer term violence including murder, so it's reasonable to assume that this will also help reduce that as well. The New Hampshire article points out that only about 12% of the children that could benefit from this program are enrolled due to N.H. Medicaid requirements which only allow mothers under 21 that enroll their child within two weeks of being born and she argues this should be changed. The study from Connecticut refers to enrolled mothers instead of children, but if they're based on one mother per child then they actually have slightly less per capita, and even if there are many mothers with two or three children enrolled they probably could benefit from expansion.

Another program started in North Carolina in 2008 which was a few years before the ACA enabled a significant expansion in the program according to Durham NC program making a huge difference for families with newborns 12/02/2019 I also found additional articles about new home visiting programs from Georgia, Florida, Pennsylvania, Alaska and Chicago Illinois, all that started since the North Carolina program in 2008, most after the ACA went into effect and a few that were only begun in the last few years; Pennsylvania apparently had some programs since 1989, however they were expanded significantly in recent years and may not have been widely available prior to that. These are all areas with above average murder rates, implying that the programs that were begun years if not decades might be mostly in states that currently have below average murder rates, often in the bottom ten. This isn't enough for a statistical analysis; however the research that is available shows that this could improve things significantly helping bring down long term violence and delinquency, although it's still not getting nearly as much attention as it should.

I haven't always been a big fan of the Affordable Care Act, since it was written with cooperation from insurance companies far more concerned with protecting their own profits than with the most cost effective way to provide health care; but, there should be little doubt that this is a worthwhile, long overdue program, and can go a long way to reduce many social problems including child abuse, violence and racism that are often much more common with abused children especially if they raised by racist parents.

Some of these articles clearly indicate that they're targeting low income at risk parents, often that may have come from abused households themselves. These parents have always needed the best services to overcome their problems but have almost always gotten the worst, since they haven't got the money to pay for them or the educational background to understand how much they might help. Apparently many of these at risk parents have been reluctant to accept help from this program, perhaps because their past experiences with social workers or other government officials including police have often been antagonistic, often treating them as if they've done something wrong and are suspect in some kind of wrong doing or charity cases, while ignoring how the economic system is rigged against the poor and increasingly the middle class as well.

This has been even worse when it comes to rehabilitation of children once they've already begun to have problems with the law, often promoting boot camp reform movements despite evidence of their abuses, and I suspect there is still some indication of class bias, even in programs like those supported by Charles Appelstein, although his recommendations aren't the cause of it, if this is the case. There's certainly no reason to suspect that he might be bigoted or anything like that and he's clearly trying to reduce abuse of children not make it worse but he's not the one making the policy decisions and has to deal with politicians and business people that are constantly trying to cut finds for programs like this, especially for low income people.

One thing that surprised me about the Gifford School, which is for foster children from troubled families, is that it's in Weston Massachusetts, one of the wealthiest, if not the wealthiest suburb west of Boston.

This made the marbles roll around in my head.

Are they enrolling foster children from Roxbury, Dorchester or Mattapan? How about Chelsea, Everett or Somerville? I have no way for knowing for certain but my best guess is no. Who's going to pay for foster care in such a high priced neighborhood? would there be political opposition? This is supposed to be one of the most liberal areas in the country, and in many ways it probably is but I seriously doubt if they would welcome a school for foster children from some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Eastern Massachusetts.

I wouldn't even be surprised if they were reluctant to accept troubled children from Waltham which is right next to them. There web page says that they only have about a hundred students and that they accept children withing a fifty mile radius, which would include all of these areas. But the areas that you might expect the most foster children to come from are probably the poorest areas that also have the highest rates of violence, and it's highly unlikely that a suburb with a median household income over $200,000 is going to want to take a risk by accepting what might be some of the most violent children.

This doesn't mean of course that all the children that Charles Appelstein worked with were from wealthy families; his book, which was written almost twenty years ago refers to numerous different schools throughout Massachusetts, and perhaps New Hampshire, although he doesn't specify the location of the income from typical foster children; and apparently he has since become a national adviser on the subject, perhaps doing more to teach other child care workers than working directly with kids now.

But the funds and political decisions are often controlled by the wealthy and historically their own prejudices have often been passed down to lower income people, often intentionally, especially in the South. Machiavelli recommended that governments keep the masses poor so they could easily control them; and even though modern politicians aren't nearly as authoritarian, or at least they do a better job pretending otherwise, there are still a lot of them that are clearly trying to rig the economic system. Income inequality and poverty is a major contributing cause of violence and when it's combined with subtle or sometimes more obvious ways to encourage racism as a divide and rule tactic it also leads to racism.

Howard Zinn once wrote about how some of the early slaves in America cooperated with white indentured servants while trying to escape together; the slave owners responded by punishing the African Americans more harshly and encouraging a racial divide telling the white servants that they were from a superior race and, lather encouraging them to blame the Africans Americans for stealing their jobs, a practice which continues today often blaming illegal immigrants or who ever some people might be prejudiced against.

More recently Jonathan Kozol reported about how they used corporal punishment in Roxbury against African Americans that they would never have done to white children; Michael Patrick MacDonald, from South Boston, reported about the treatment his older brother, who eventually committed suicide, went through in juvenile reform school including shock treatment and other abusive methods that were thought to teach people to behave and there are many other stories about abusive rehabilitation methods that are used much more often on lower income people, especially minorities.

These were decades ago, and the tactics used to rehabilitate or rear children have been changing dramatically since then but they're all being done at the local level and the vast majority of the public isn't aware of it. we have good research on the most effective methods to reduce violence but the vast majority of the public is unaware of it. The leading reason for this is that both the media and the political establishment is controlled by a small fraction of the wealthiest people and they control the information we use to make political decisions. Instead of educating the public about the most effective ways to reduce violence they provide repetitive propaganda that enables them to rig the economy which often makes things worse in areas where they don't do their own independent research.

The advantage of this, intentionally or not, is that it provides enormous amount of research opportunities by comparing areas using more effective methods to educate their kids and when necessary reform those that don't get the early care they need to those that don't do this so well. But of course, the bigger problem is that the media is still controlled by the wealthy and they have an unfair advantage when it comes to deciding which programs get funded.

In order for a democracy to function properly we have to allow all people access to a good education and the best research about every given subject, especially when it comes to reducing violence or fraudulent ways that wealthy people rig the economy in their own favor, which is essentially white collar crime and indirectly contributes to other types of crime endangering everyone.

At the end of his book Charles Appellstein writes, "It's too bad kids at risk can't vote, because if they could, increased assistance would win hands down. But today's sober reality is that many troubled kids and the adults who care for them are grossly under-supported," which is close to the truth but it's not good enough. Furthermore, funding good programs, with reasonable oversight, would save much more than it costs, since it's far cheaper than ignoring problems until they get much worse and we have to deal with high crime rates and prison populations, which current polices often create. They also need to have access to accurate information to make those decisions as well, which means that the best researchers needs a fair opportunity to inform the public about their work, without middlemen or reporters hired by wealthy people with a fiscal ideology.

Edit 12/21/2019: Prior to writing this I sent an E-mail to Charles Appellstein and a second one after I completed it, he probably didn't have time to respond earlier but sent the following reply afterward:

I was hired to provide training and consultation, many years ago, on behalf of the Gifford School. I never actually worked there. I think they welcomed kids from Boston. And because it's a day school, I don't believe the neighbors had much influence in who they accepted. Residential programs often have more tension with NIMBY (not in my backyard).

Sadly, Cambridge and Boston schools have a large number of kids who need special ed services. As a result, they often try and educate these kids in-house rather than spending big bucks sending them to private schools like Gifford.

Home visiting is certainly an effective intervention in preventing abuse and neglect.

Years ago I read a book that changed my life...written by 3 authors including James Garbarino, called Social Support Networks.

In it, they basically state that lack of support leads people to make bad decisions - such as abusive behavior.

Take a look at my handout. Look at the Eco Map. This is a very important tool. You can put a kid and/or family in the middle and then rate their support networks from -3 (significant lack of support in this area) to +3 (lots of support in this area). People who abuse their kids often have minimal support in their lives (e.g. few friends, few meaningful members, terrible financial resources, schools who are at times adversarial since their kids are problematic, lack of counseling/parenting/psychological support, no recreational opportunities, etc.)

Home visiting is a good intervention but it should be one of many that help connect at-risk family members to more sources of support.

Any time I work with a troubled family (or kid) my number one job is to raise numbers on their eco map by improving family connections, helping with job possibilities, getting them to attend church, providing parent training, encouraging recreational pursuits, helping them connect with neighbors, etc.

Every number that is raised on an eco map increases the odds for better behavior and higher functioning.

At every training I do, I ask the following question: Why do we have so many troubled kids and families?

I then say: "Here's my take...How many of you know the neighbors on your street where you live now just like you did when you were young?" Few hands go up. "How many of you see your immediate family (brothers, sisters, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.) like you did when you were younger" Few hands go up. That's why we have so much abuse and neglect. The people who commit these atrocious acts are often isolated and, many times, also victims of abuse themselves and require psychological support.

To prevent hatred and violence, we need to systemically help people forge more meaningful and plentiful connections.

Human beings function better when they are happy. And when they are happy they use more parts of their brain. And what makes people happy: Meaningful social connections and support.

A good home visitor should, as part of their role, help family members to enhance and broaden their support networks.

This isn't the first time I received responses from academic researchers studying how to reduce violence, in addition to Charles Appellstein, James Garbarino, Murray Straus, Sherry Hamby, Susan Linn, and a few other academics have also replied, yet I'm sure many of these researchers are very busy. These researchers almost certainly didn't go into their careers to make as much money as they can, although I'm sure that's one factor, they did it because they wanted to address social problems.

If they can find the time to help someone like me, with a small following, that pokes through non-fiction books and asks a few questions, I have no doubt that they would be willing to help good reporters from mainstream media report on the most effective solutions to social problems, and some of them have come right out and said so, I think including Dorothy Otnow Lewis, who did get a little coverage at least once, but indicated that she would like to draw much more attention to this research.

Politicians and national media pundits almost certainly get paid much more than these researchers and they have the ability to do far more to educate the public about this research so that they could drive up popular support for programs that work, instead of relying almost exclusively on punishment as a deterrent, which is almost the only thing we hear from the traditional media, yet they choose not to.

The parts of the country that have the least amount of violence often have the most progressive, and perhaps best educated people willing to support good programs that stop social problems before they escalate and that may not rely solely on mainstream media for their information. The parts of the country, mainly the South, that rely almost exclusively in punishment as a deterrent are the ones that usually do have the highest rates of violence. Fortunately, while checking on the home visitor program I found that now it's even expanding in the South or the states with the highest murder rates. I didn't find much on Louisiana, which consistently has the highest murder rates for years if not decades, but they do have some programs, but Missouri, Maryland, Alabama and South Carolina have more news stories about expanding these programs.

Both Professor Garbarino and Charles Appellstein recommend community involvement including from churches; however they don't support some of the most extreme beliefs about strict use of corporal punishment that James Dobson recommends. This is part of the reason why some of the most religious areas in the Bible Belt are also some of the most violent; community involvement from churches can be helpful, but not if it's from extremist churches or cults.

If we can reduce violence as much as we have over the past twenty to thirty years without much help from the media and political establishment we can do much better with their help if they were reformed; some countries in Europe have already done this, and they have murder rates that are a fraction of ours often under 1 per 100,000 while ours is about 5.

These are my views and I don't expect some of these academics to agree completely with them, perhaps, since they have to be tactful if they want to get more media attention in the future. But if we can reform the political establishment at the grassroots and perhaps either create new media that does a better job or reform them as well, including the way they're financed, then we could solve many of these problems much more effectively.

The following are some additional sources on the subject:

"We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was 'legal' and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was 'illegal.' It was 'illegal' to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws." Letter From a Birmingham Jail Martin Luther King Jr. 16 April 1963

"'Rights' were something enjoyed by decent folk, and perhaps also by the serious professional criminal, who avoided violence and could afford a lawyer." Broken Windows James Wilson George Kelling March 1982

Zimbabwe bans the beating of children 03/02/2017

Zimbabwe caning: Court bans 'inhuman' juvenile punishment 04/04/2019

Disabled boy who murdered abusive neo-Nazi dad at age 10 to stay locked up until 23 after court decision 10/06/2016

The Hate Report: The Nazis are coming for your children 01/19/2018

This Is What Happens When You Hit Your Kids 09/19/2014

8 Ways You Can Stop Child Abuse Today! 02/07/2017

New Evidence Suggests Home Visiting Can Prevent Child Neglect 04/26/2018

Home Visiting in Maryland: Opportunities & Challenges for Sustainability 07/17/2012 There has been an infusion of federal grant funds under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act1 (ACA; “health care reform”) which is driving interest in expanding and sustaining Home Visiting programs. The ACA established the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program as part of Title V-Section 511 of the Social Security Act.

My Turn: Data shows that children need home visiting 04/15/2019

Home Visiting for South Carolina

Home Visiting In Idaho

Statewide Overview of Home Visiting Services in Alabama 09/20/2016

Missouri Home Visiting Programs

Parents as Teachers

Home Visiting and Maternal Mental Health

Which home visiting programs are effective in reducing child maltreatment? 05/29/2018

Pew's home visiting project

In Houston County, Georgia, nurses visit some new parents in the comfort of their homes – for free 01/16/2019

Home visiting program sends nurses into homes of new moms 01/25/2019

Free nurse visits for new parents in Pennsylvania 01/03/2019

Home-visit care for newborns helps allay parents' fears 06/18/2012

Chicago to Offer Free Home Nursing Services to Families with Newborns 11/19/2019

Nurses Bring In-Home Care, Connections in North Carolina 11/12/2019

Program offers free home visits from nurses for first-time, low-income mothers 12/04/2017

How Universal Home Visiting Models Can Support Newborns and Their Families 09/26/2019

Life and Death in a Troubled Teen Boot Camp 11/12/2015 In between, boys were made to do up-downs, scissor kicks, push-ups and wall sits until their legs burned and their lungs were on fire. “The bigger you were and the stronger you were and the more you liked fucking up the little guys, the more powerful you were,” says Hatton.

When Wilderness Boot Camps Take Tough Love Too Far 08/12/2014 Troubled teens are occasionally sent to corrective outdoor programs, where they hike for days or perform manual labor. But some parents are saying the physical exertion verges on abuse.

BOOT CAMP FOR KIDS: Torturing Teens for Fun and Profit

Report Recounts Horrors of Youth Boot Camps 10/11/2007 WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 — Reports of abuse of troubled young people in privately run boot camps and other residential treatment centers are widespread, with examples numbering in the thousands, according to a federal report released Wednesday. The report also found that managers of these programs, which are largely unregulated, faced little or no punishment for their actions.

Children in boot camp abuse investigation suffer lasting damage, lawyer says 08/06/2015 The solution, it declared, could be a police-sponsored boot camp for southeast Los Angeles County youth held at a military base in the mountains of San Luis Obispo. There, children would be inculcated with the three pillars of the LEAD program: Leadership, Empowerment and Discipline. Instead, authorities contend that the camp became a breeding ground for vicious assaults and physical and emotional abuse. A two-month investigation that included searching the cellphones, computers, vehicles, photos and belongings of camp leaders.

8 Charged In Teen's Boot Camp Death 11/28/2006

Feds: No civil right charges in teen's Florida boot camp death 04/17/2010

States Pressed As 3 Boys Die At Boot Camps 07/15/2001 The death of Tony Haynes, a 14-year-old, in the Arizona desert this month is increasing calls for stronger regulation of outdoor camps for troubled youths, an industry that has grown substantially over the last 20 years. At least 31 teenagers in 11 states have died at these camps since 1980, including 3 this year, in widely diverse circumstances. In Arizona, investigators said they were told that before Tony Haynes died counselors physically abused him and forced him to eat dirt.

Camp Fear November/December 2000 ISSUE Gina Score was the latest teenager to die at a juvenile boot camp. Why do so many states still insist that humiliation and abuse will straighten out troubled kids?

Wilderness therapy programs claim they'll straighten out your troubled teen with tough love and survival training. Some kids never come back. 12/0/2019

When tough love becomes brutal 10/14/2007